Bharti, SoftBank-backed Hike Messenger is exploring the possibility of integrating e-commerce into its instant messaging app, a move similar to China’s WeChat.
Further, Bharati is looking at integrating its coupon app Hoppr and gaming app Tiny Mogul with Hike to build a single unified platform that offers users coupons, games, news, scores and texting.
Hike claims it currently has 17 million users and is looking to build a better way of delivering curated content and goods to users than e-commerce players such as Flipkart or Snapdeal.
Communication will remain the core of Hike and to compete with rivals such as Facebook-owned WhatsApp it will introduce localised content including stickers and regional languages.
Hike’s plans come at a time when Facebook too has turned its Messenger app into a platform enabling communication, commerce, fund transfer and even gaming via the app.